How to Apply for Your CAS and Visa
The majority of international students studying in the UK require a visa prior to arriving. To help you prepare for your journey to the University of Lincoln, this page contains important information about the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) request form, deposit payment and visa application process, and the help and support available. If you are unsure whether you need a visa, please visit the UK Government website before reading the page below.
From 1 January 2021 EU nationals entering the UK may also need to apply for a student visa to commence their studies. For more information about this please visit the Guidance for EU Students page and the Student Route page on the UK Government website.
All students who require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) are advised to read the University’s CAS Issuance Policy before submitting a CAS request.
A Step by Step Guide
The information on this page is intended as a guide only and is subject to change. Please refer to the Student Route Visa page on the UK Government website for the most up-to-date information prior to submitting your visa application.
Step 1: Accept Your Offer, Pay Your Deposit and Complete the CAS Request Form
Once you have accepted your unconditional offer of a place, you will be required to pay your deposit and complete the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) request form.
New students can request a CAS from four months before the start of their course, providing the visa application will be made outside of the UK. If the visa application will be made from inside the UK, a CAS can be requested up to three months before the course start date.
As part of the assessment of your CAS request form, you may be asked to attend a Pre-CAS interview.
To request a CAS you will need to:
- Hold an unconditional offer from the University of Lincoln
- Have paid your tuition fee deposit. The amount will be outlined in your offer letter and does not apply to Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills (PEASS) Courses
- Complete the online CAS request form by logging into the University's online application system, OneUni. Once you have logged in using your applicant ID number and password, please click on the 'My Details' function in the 'Forms' tab.
Please note: if you pay any further fees after your CAS has been issued, please do not request that your CAS be updated. Instead you should submit official proof of your payment with your visa application.
Deposit Payment and CAS Request Deadlines
We strongly encourage applicants to complete the deposit payment and CAS request process as soon as they are eligible to do so. This will help to ensure you have sufficient time to apply for your visa and to arrive in the UK before the start of your studies.
Before you pay your deposit and complete the CAS request form, please visit the UK Government website to find out more information regarding the different types of visa services that may be available and the cost. It is important that you also carefully check the visa processing times in the country you are applying from.
September 2023 Intake
The CAS request and deposit payment deadline for the September 2023 intake for students who have met the conditions of their offer and whose CAS deposit funds have either already been paid to the University, or have been debited from their accounts, will be midnight on Monday 28 August. CAS requests received after the above deadline will not be processed.
Please note that the above deadline is subject to change to take into account application and visa processing.
Once you have submitted your CAS request, the International Admissions Team will carry out final checks on the documents you have provided to ensure that they meet UKVI, as well as University, requirements. If additional information is requested, please ensure that you provide this as quickly as possible to enable the International Admissions Team to assess your eligibility for a CAS.
As part of the application and CAS issuing process, the International Admissions team may ask you to consent to having your academic documents verified. You will be asked to provide written consent.
How are documents verified?
The verification is carried out by QCAS – Qualification Checked At Source, in association with Qualification Check. Once you have provided written consent, your transcript and certificate will be uploaded to the QCAS portal and QCAS will contact your institution directly for verification.
How long does verification take?
This really depends on how long it takes for your institution to respond to the request from QCAS. The average is 7-10 working days.
What happens if I do not wish to give my consent?
If you do not wish to consent to having your documents verified, you can inform the International Admissions team and the team will withdraw your application. If you have paid a CAS deposit, the University of Lincoln’s Admissions Terms and Conditions give details of the University’s refund policy,
Prepare Your Financial Evidence
As part of your visa application, you will need to show evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the first year of your course, or the whole course if it is less than 12 months long. You will also be required to show that you have enough funds to cover your living costs such as food and accommodation – this is often referred to as ‘maintenance’ by the UK Home Office.
The amount of money you need to show for your living costs is currently £1,023 per month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months. If you are bringing dependants such as a partner or child with you to the UK, you will need to show an additional £680 a month for each of them, up to a maximum of £6,180.
The above amounts are set by the UK Government and are subject to change, so it is important that you carefully check the most up-to-date information prior to submitting your application.
If you are self-funding, you will need to provide evidence that you have held the required amount of money for at least 28 consecutive days before the date of your visa application. This will usually be in the form of a bank statement, or a letter from your bank. Detailed information regarding acceptable forms of evidence can be found by reading the Student Visa policy guidance document on the UK Government website.
Your bank statement must be in your name, or in one or both of your parent’s or guardian’s names. You can use more than one bank account if you wish.
If you use a parent’s bank account as evidence, you must also provide a birth certificate or household register showing the relationship between you and a letter from your parent giving you permission to use the money in the account. If your funds are not in British pounds (GBP) then you should use the OANDA currency converter to show how much your money is worth on the date of your visa application.
If you have an official financial sponsor, you will be required to provide a letter from your sponsor confirming this. If your sponsor is not covering all your maintenance requirements, you must show that you have the remaining funds yourself (see above). Further information regarding who can be an official financial sponsor and the details they must provide can be found by reading the Student Visa policy guidance.
Prepare Your Supporting Documents
In addition to preparing your financial evidence, you will also be required to submit supporting documents. This includes:
- Evidence of any qualifications or English language tests that are referred to on your CAS
- Receipts for any money you have paid to the University for tuition fees, or for University accommodation (up to £1,265)
Additional supporting documents that maybe required include:
- ATAS certificate If you are studying a certain science or technology based course, you may be required to obtain an ATAS certificate. If this applies to you, the University’s Admissions team will specify the requirement in your CAS
- TB test
Depending on your country of residence, you may be required to have a tuberculosis (TB) test. Further information regarding TB tests can be found on the UK Government’s Tuberculosis tests for visa applicants page.
It is important that your supporting documents are originals as copies are not accepted. If the documents are not in English or Welsh, you will be required to provide an official translation.
Complete Visa Application Form and Attend Your Appointment
After you have prepared your supporting documents and financial evidence, you will need to complete a Student visa application. As part of your application, you will be required to pay a visa fee in addition to the Immigration Health Surcharge.
You can apply for your visa no more than 3 months before your course start date, and no more than 6 months after you get your CAS. The time it takes to process visa applications can vary so we recommend that you visit the UK Government website to see how long this is likely to take.
As part of the online visa application, you will be required to book an appointment to attend a Visa Application Centre in order to submit your documents. You will also be required to have your biometric information taken such as your fingerprints and a photograph. You may also be asked to attend a Credibility Interview.
After your Visa Application Centre appointment, you will receive a decision letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regarding the status of your visa application. If your application has been approved, you will be issued with a visa sticker (called a vignette) in your passport. The vignette will be valid for 30 days to enable you to travel to the UK. It is important that you carefully check that your details are correct on the vignette and your decision letter as soon as you receive it.
As part of your visa application, you may be asked to attend a credibility interview to ensure that you intend to travel to the UK for genuine reasons. Interviews may take place face-to-face, by telephone or via a video link, and you must attend if asked to do so or your visa application could be rejected.
If you are called for an interview, you may be asked questions about:
- Your ability to speak English (even if you have met the IELTS score for your course).
- Your knowledge of the course you are going to study
- Details about your course e.g. the modules you will be studying
- Details about the qualification which your course leads to
- Details about how you found the course/university you have applied for
- Your academic history
- Details of your previous study
- Details of any study gaps you may have
- Details about why you are returning to education now.
- Your plans to return home after studies
- Details about what you are planning to do after you have completed your studies.
- Your personal details
- Details about your family at home or in the UK
- Details about who is supporting your studies
- Details about what you plan to do with the qualification after the course
- Your finances. The Interviewing Officer may ask questions about your financial background. They may question where money has come from based on current wages, family background etc.
The interviews may take place face-to-face or by telephone or via a video link. If you are asked to attend an interview, you must do so. If you do not attend without providing a reasonable explanation this will result in your visa application being rejected.
Arrive in the UK and Collect Your BRP Card
Once you have received your visa, you will need to arrange your travel to the UK and ensure you arrive in Lincoln by the start date displayed on your Confirmation of Acceptance of Study (CAS) document.
When you arrive in the UK, you will be required to show the vignette and your decision letter (mentioned in step 4) to immigration officials at the border.
Your visa information will be printed on a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. This must be collected from the Post Office that you selected on your visa application form within 10 days of arriving in the UK. Once you have collected your BRP card, it is important that you check the information is correct, we also advise you to keep a scanned copy of the card and keep it safe at all times. You will need to bring your BRP card to the University alongside your other documents to be copied.
To help you prepare for your travel to the UK, our pre-departure webpages contain lots of helpful information and advice, including details of our free airport pick-up service from London Heathrow Airport.
Declaring Previous Visa Refusals When Submitting Your Application
Please ensure that you inform us of any visa refusals that you have previously received when you submit your application, and provide a copy of your refusal document(s). Please note that this requirement is not limited to refusals for the UK.
If you subsequently submit a CAS request form, the refusal documentation will be assessed in order to determine whether the University is able to issue you with a CAS.
If you have previously had a visa refused on credibility grounds, or because it was claimed that you had provided fraudulent documents, it is unlikely that the University will be able to issue you with a CAS. However, if you successfully appealed the refusal decision, then the University may approve your CAS request.
As stated in the University’s Student Admissions Terms and Conditions (PDF), if it is discovered that your application contains material inaccuracies or fraudulent information, or that significant information has been omitted from your application form (for example, previous visa refusals), the University may withdraw or amend your Offer, or terminate your registration at the University. In such circumstances, any deposit paid by you will be retained by the University.
Part-time Student Visa
The UK Home Office permits universities to sponsor postgraduate students to study a part-time programme in the UK, subject to meeting all eligibility criteria.
Whilst the UK Home Office offers a part-time study route, the University of Lincoln have decided not to sponsor visas for students wishing to study a part-time programme. When this route was launched the University thoroughly considered the requirements and conditions of the route and felt that it is very restrictive for students.
When studying on a part time programme with this visa:
- The majority of part-time students cannot bring dependents to the UK.
- Part-time students cannot undertake any form of work whilst in the UK. This includes unpaid work, placements, and internships.
- Part-time students do not receive any discretionary allowance when paying the Immigration Health Surcharge and must pay this in full for the duration of the programme.
If you are currently enrolled with us and wish to switch to part-time study, the University may consider this on an exceptional case-by-case basis. Please note that you would be required to apply for a new visa to move to a part-time programme.
If you believe this is an option you would like to consider please contact the International Advice Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. You can also email email@example.com for information about how to apply for the new visa if your request is approved.
Requesting a Refund of Your CAS Deposit
If you find yourself unable to enrol at the University because your visa application has been unsuccessful, it may be possible to receive a refund of your CAS deposit.
The Student Admissions Terms and Conditions explain the circumstances in which your CAS deposit can be refunded.
In the first instance, you will need to email a copy of your visa refusal document to the International Admissions Team – firstname.lastname@example.org – and confirm that you would like your circumstances to be assessed for a CAS deposit refund.
You must enrol as soon as possible after arriving at the University. Find out more about enrolment.
If you currently hold a visa with a different sponsor and are transferring to the University of Lincoln, you must make a new visa application before you can enrol. You can enrol before your application is processed but we will require proof that you have posted the application.
It is important that you keep your immigration permission to stay in the UK up to date and apply for any visa extensions before your current leave expires.
Extending your Student Visa (previously known as Tier 4 Visa)
- Request a new CAS by logging on to the University's online application system, OneUni, using your application ID and password and access the 'My Details' function, in the 'Forms' tab. Under the form please select CAS for a Continuing Student.
We recommend that you request a CAS and begin making preparations for your visa application up to 4 months before your current leave expires.
- Once you have requested a CAS, the Student Visa Compliance team will assess your request. We may ask you for a copy of the bank statement you intend to use in your application. Once we have assessed your request you will be emailed with a decision about whether or not we can issue you with a CAS.
- f you are eligible to receive a CAS it will be sent to you by email via Oneuni to your internal student account only.
- Once you have made your visa application please send us a copy of your cover sheet to email@example.com and we will update your record on your pending visa application. Should you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Overstaying your current visa may also have an impact on any future applications you make to the Home Office so if you need any support please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you.